Vijayrajufrom INDIA asks:
Dear Pastor Chris, Would the Lord allow the church go through tribulation or would he take his bride before the tribulation? I have heard some pastors and prophets say that the rapture would take place during the mid-tribulation and after tribulation. Also, would the mark of the beast be implanted on the believers? Please give me a clarification.
Pastor Chris Answers:
Now this is on the subject of Eschatology- dealing with the end times and it’s quite a broad subject. Of course, I’m aware that there are those who say that the rapture would take place before the tribulation. By the way, when we say tribulation we are dealing with the Great tribulation. There are different phases of tribulations throughout the church age but then the Bible refers to the one that it calls the ‘Great tribulation’. There are those who say the rapture would take place before the tribulation, some say during the tribulation, and some say at the end of the tribulation but what we are to understand is that the period between the rapture of the church and the second coming of Christ has to be Daniel’s week, that is between the 69th week and the 70th week.
Now, it is important that we understand that the church age has to come to a close before the return of God’s calendar to the Israelite nation. This is very important because he doesn’t deal with both of them at the same time. He deals with the church and then he returns to dealing with Israel. So, evidently what happens is the rapture of the church takes place before the great tribulation. But really, the great tribulation doesn’t begin until the second half of the seven-year period which the Bible refers to, so, the rapture evidently would take place at the beginning of the seven-year period because that’s the time that the antichrist is revealed and at that period, God’s timetable shifts over to dealing with the nation of Israel, so, the church would have been taken away.
When we say ‘the church’, it’s important to understand that there are others that would join the church. Now, throughout that period of the seven years, there are other raptures that would take place; for example, the rapture of the two witnesses would take place, then later on you got the 144000 that are all Jews- the Bible talks about them. But, for the church as it is today, the rapture would take place at the beginning of the seven-year period. It’s got to be so, because, when you study in the book of Daniel- read Daniel chapter 9, you would get some of these facts and understanding that God deals with time even though he lives in eternity. He deals with human beings who are within the framework of time and so he gives us such information that if you’d read the book of Hosea, read the books of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and Daniel of course, and then the book of Revelation, all of this information is there and in reality, when you study them you would not find contradictions and you would not be in any doubt as to when they would take place.
Now, the other question here is: would the mark of the beast be implanted on the believers? No! Those who believe in Jesus Christ, knowing the purpose of the mark, would reject it. They would say no! Now remember, ‘the church’ by this time has already gone and I mean the church as it today, because I did say there are others who would believe in Jesus Christ during the tribulation period. So, because they believe at the ending part of that, they are going to be part of the church because they believe in Jesus Christ. But they would go through the tribulation, they will not receive the mark and because they will not receive the mark, they will be persecuted because the instruction- the law in that time would be that no one would buy or sell except he has that mark. And how are you going to make it, see? The laws of different countries would be imposed on you; you’ve got to accept! If you don’t accept then you then cannot buy, you cannot sell. You’d be persecuted and prosecuted. So, that’s a real problem. But, in spite of that, the Bible does tell us that a great multitude went through the great tribulation. So, those of us who don’t want to wait for the tribulation are working hard in preaching the gospel to the nations of the earth so that we can win a whole lot of people to Christ. Hallellujah.